Chinese Negative Words 不(Bù) and 没(Méi)

不(bù) Negates in the present and Future

– Negates an action that you do not want to do or do not intend to do (in the future). It is used to express a subjective wishes or expectation.

Subject + 不 + Verb + (Object)

Ex:

今晚你吃晚饭吗?
Jīnwǎn nǐ chī wǎnfàn ma?
Are you going to have dinner tonight?

我不吃了。
Wǒ bùchī le
No – I’m not going to dinner

明天你去上班吗?
Míngtiān nǐ qù shàngbān ma?
Are you going to work tomorrow?

我明天不去上班。
Wǒ míngtiān búqù shàngbān
I am not going to work tomorrow

你男朋友不去吗?
Nǐ nán péngyou búqù ma?
Is your boyfriend not going ?

他不去,下次吧。
Tā búqù, xiàcìba
He is not going, next time

你不跟他说,他肯定不会同意。
Nǐ bùgēn tā shuō, tā kěndìng búhuì tóngyì.
If you don’t tell him, he will not agree for sure.

 

Negates habitual actions

Ex:

我不吃早饭
Wǒ bùchī zǎofàn
I don’t eat breakfast

他不喜欢跑步
Tā bù xǐhuān pǎobù
He doesn’t like running

你不看电视吗?
Nǐ bú kàn diànshì ma?
You don’t watch TV?

我不看电影。
Wǒ búkàn diànyǐng.
I don’t watch movies.

 

Only 不(bù)

If you want to negate adjectives, you can only use , regardless of the tenses.

+ Adj

Ex:

昨天我们不忙。
zuótiān wǒmen bùmáng
We were not busy yesterday

我觉得Starbucks的咖啡不好喝
Wǒ juéde Starbucks de kāfēi bù hǎo hë
I think the coffee at Starbucks is not good.

上周不冷也不热。
shàng zhōu bùlěng yě bú rè
It was not cold either hot last week.

我家离超市不远。
Wǒ jiā lí chāoshì bù yuǎn
My home is not far from supermarket.

这件衣服不那么好。
This clothes is not so good

 

negates modal verbs (能愿动词)such as ‘不愿意’ (bú yuànyì)- not willing不应该’(bù yīnggāi) – should not不值得‘(bù zhídé)– not worth,‘不想要’(bù xiǎngyào)– not want,‘不可以’(bù kěyǐ)– cannot……

 

没(méi) or 没有(méiyǒu) Negates past actions

Both can be used to negate actions that took place in the past, or to say that something did not happen in the past, or has not happened yet.

 

Subject + 没/没有 + Verb + Object

 

Ex:

我还没吃晚饭
Wǒ hái méi chī wǎnfàn
I have not eaten dinner yet.

我昨天没去上班
Wǒ zuótiān méi qù shàngbān
I did not go to work yesterday

今天早上,你有没有喝酒?
jīntiān zǎoshàng, nǐ yǒu méi yǒu hējiǔ?
Did you drink this morning?

我没和他一起去看电影
Wǒ méi hé tā yìqǐ qù kàn diànyǐng
I didn’t go with him to see a movie.

 

Any questions, please let me know! 🙂

Ling

Ling

Hi, I’m Ling, a Chinese tutor and a language learning amateur. I create this blog with a goal to help Mandarin learners and Chinese culture lovers to study and know about this language by self-learning. Welcome to visit me from time to time and give me your precious advice! Thank you! 😛

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